“I have been and still am a seeker, but have ceased to question stars and books: I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” – Hermann Hesse, Demian
As a child, born to parents who both chose a form of movement as a major focus in their life, I was given a wonderful gift to fully enjoy and savor being inside my strong, healthy and flexible body. I thank my parents for this joy – my mother, a modern ballet dancer, and my father, a champion diver and gymnast.
This is a photo of my father, below, preparing for a diving competition.
They taught me to honor my body and to explore the ranges of movement it is capable of. As a teenager in Los Angeles, I was interested in various forms of dance, Flamenco, Russian ballet and gymnastics. I studied modern ballet at the school of Gene Marinaccio. This was a major influence in my life as a young woman and provided the foundation of my understanding of our body structure. One particular teacher taught me to actually visualize and feel the anatomy and structure of my body through very slow movement. Ortho-Bionomy has this quality to it – a very slow, concise and gentle dance coming from within.
The combination of Judo and Osteopathy which Arthur Lincoln Pauls brought together in his life as an osteopath fascinated me. The dialogue with the body through self awareness and exploration of movement resonated with my own experience as a dancer.
With Ortho-Bionomy, I experienced an absolutely new sense of what flexibility really could be. I noticed over and over again, the spaciousness but also the details of my “body-scape”. Ortho-Bionomy has such a unique and articulate language that speaks gently, quietly and patiently towards a deep center of stillness. In that way, Ortho-Bionomy is magical to me.
Ortho-bionomy is an experience of exploration and conversation. I fell in love with Ortho-Bionomy because of the internal range of vocabulary and conversation of our physical, structural, energetic and emotional experiences that are contained within our wholeness as a Being in a body.
A conversation that is hard to imagine until you experience it. I love the simplicity, logic and gracefulness, which bring us to our own self-awareness and awakening, at our own unique speed.
Being a midwife and an Ortho-Bionomist, I see myself simply as sort of a guide that works with the Life Force.
What I love most about birth, is that it is a time when we are present in a very pure and primal way. I am allowed to witness an utterly human moment of intimacy and to be a guardian for the parents and baby in the safe and comfortable space of home. There, I witness, over and over again, the powerful life force, intelligent, primal and graceful. I also witness the same intelligence of the unborn child knowing how to be born. It takes two to be born, not one. I now am a midwife, and have the same faith that the body will lead itself to its healing. I am presence with this.
Because of my respect and love for the body, this sensitive and thriving vessel to our soul, I am also a figure painter. I paint the experience of what I feel and observe as a midwife and Ortho-Bionomy practitioner and I believe our body really is the Temple to our Soul.
My paintings are a reflection of my love for the sacred body. As an ortho-bionomist, I am in awe of the vast and subtle dimensions of our anatomy and also the expressiveness of the body as it heals from within.
I think being a figurative painter has influenced my work as a body therapist and vice a versa. I am grateful to both.
As a practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy, I feel I am still doing the work of a midwife. Now, I hope to be a midwife to all people in all stages of life.
Leopi Nicola: An Ortho-Bionomy Practitioner
- Completed her 19 month Ortho-Bionomy practitioner program and certification of 500 hours through the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts in 2007.
- Leopi continues towards her advanced practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy with 220 hours.
- Leopi also has over 200 hours in cranial sacral and somatic experiencing studies.
- 500 hours of homeopathy with Robin Murphy in 1995 and continues to study.
(Leopi has also been a licensed home-birth midwife since 1985, supervising and caring for over 1500 women. Leopi also has a BA in Art Therapy.)